Junior Autism Group (JAG for short) was started in 2011.
At that time, there was a distinct lack of appropriate support for familes affected by Autism in this area of Lancashire.
JAG was formed for two reasons :
(1) So that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders could come and play in a fun and safe environment, free from the sensory 'overload' that can often accompany a 'mainstream' play centre *
(2) So that parents of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions had a place to go to meet other parents, share information and even relax for a few precious minutes, knowing that their children could play safely * and they wouldn't be subject to the judgmental comments and disapproving looks that we parents often get when our very individual and special children are out, about and just being themselves.
My own son has a diagnosis of Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and Complex Learning Difficulties.
Once we were on the pathway to diagnosis, I made it my mission to find out, study and learn as much about Autism as I could and have achieved several qualifications in the process. I also ensure that I keep up to date with the latest research and enhance my professional development in this area by attending Autism related events as much as I can.
We can all go out and buy books (that often cost a lot!) and spend hours online looking for information but really, there is no substitute for local knowledge. Knowing that there are people nearby that are going through the same things as you are, facing the same issues and dilemmas makes you feel not so alone with everything. The phrase we hear most often from parents who come to a JAG meeting for the first time is, "Thank goodness it's not just me and there's somebody else who understands".
Of course, all our children are individuals. The Autism Spectrum is a very wide one but here at JAG, we offer a warm welcome to all. Whether you are a parent of a newly diagnosed child and are just coming to terms with everything or have been living with Autism in your family for some time, you are more than welcome to join us.
We meet once a month at the Cheeky Monkeys Play Centre in Whittle le Woods. Please see our Meetings page for more information.
We look forward to welcoming you to JAG soon.
* Whilst in the play centre, parents are respnsible for their children's safety and behaviour towards others at ALL times. Please see the JAG Policies page.